Ignore these ten things on your car, and you endanger your car, yourself, and others. Jalopnik readers point out the key items you need to check on your car.
So your car's components can only do their job if they stay safely in place instead of fall through the floor, as Darkcode explains:
Rust. Bit by bit, your car's structural integrity is lost. In case of accident the body panels will be much more fragile.
9.) Timing belt
It will snap if you don't replace it, ruin your engine, not to mention what could happen at high speeds with suddenly bent pistons...
AverageMechanic has seen some examples:
I've towed at least 5 PT Cruisers to the car graveyard because the people popped the timing belt, and bent valves. Sadly, some had no idea it was a required service item. Others knew about it but put off replacing it. Bent valves and damaged pistons can be a game ender on an older car. If the book says do it at 90k, DO IT!
8.) Windshield wipers
Your eyes might work just fine, but you need that piece of glass in front of you to stay transparent as well, come rain or snow. It's cheap to replace wipers, it shouldn't be a question.
Suggested By: reverberocket is nipping the apex..and gently blowing in it's ear., Photo Credit: atomicjeep
7.) Fuel lines
My Autobianchi was spraying gasoline all over the engine bay. You know, it's old, it's red, and it's Italian. A new fuel pump solved the problem, and it cost me $20 not to turn into a fireball at some point. Check the fuel lines, when they get old, leaks will appear.
StillHasAManualRack has a Porsche story:
It can depend on the car, but anything containing fuel or other flammable liquids. Take 928s for example. We make fun of Ferraris for catching on fire, but 928s love to catch on fire when people buy neglected ones and then drive them without changing the flexible fuel lines that run around the back of the engine.
Automatic 928s have another fire prone failure point- because the transaxle is in the rear (on both manual and automatic cars) the transmission cooler lines for automatic ones run the length of the chassis from back to front and above the exhaust. They are therefore exposed to heat cycles and can crack. Eventually if you don't maintain them they can spill flammable transmission fluid onto the hot exhaust which results in a pretty fast and intense fire that can really threaten rear seat passengers.
6.) Ball joints
owen-magnetic's friend is not the brightest chap around:
Ball joints. Every time I ride in my buddy's Focus with 240k on it, he turns a corner and it feels like i'm riding a Tilt-A-Whirl while getting a lapdance from a woman with two peg legs. I always say something and his response is always the same: "i just need this car to make it through the winter."
Don't gamble with things that connect you to the road.
How many times do I see people driving on the highway without any or with faulty lights on? Plenty. Unsafe at any speed.
4.) Fluid levels
If it's the oil level you ignore, your engine will die. If it's brake fluid, it might be people. Also, if fluids are disappearing, there's a problem in the system.
Your steering wheel might be super sporty, but it should also be perfectly connected to the front wheels. It's great to have a say in where you're headed. If you feel your steering is off, get your car checked.
Yes, you can use your handbrake at low speeds, and yes, the engine brake can be helpful downhill, but what about emergency braking? Don't fool around with a leaking master cylinder or non-existent brake discs.
As Stig-a-saw-us wrecks says:
Tires can take a lot, but check pressure, tread, age and tears. It's really that simple to keep it on the safe side.
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